Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Derek Leman Refutes Tim Hegg's Assertion That the "Yoke" in Acts 15 is the Oral Tradition

You can check out Derek's post HERE.  Here's the summary:  Tim Hegg says that the unbearable "yoke" in Acts 15 is Oral Tradition.  Derek says that the unbearable "yoke" is covenantal nomism (i.e. the Torah of the Covenant).

I happen to vehemently disagree with both Hegg and Leman.  Here's the comment I posted on the discussion (which I fully expect will be deleted later this evening when Leman gets back from Shul):

The unbearable yoke in Acts 15 is not the Oral Tradition. It’s not Torah either: 
“Rabbinic literature uses the word yoke…but not as it is used here. See e.g. Aboth 3.5, ‘He that takes upon himself the yoke of the Law…, from him shall be taken away the yoke of the kingdom…(that is, oppression by worldly authority). Thus the yoke of the Law, the obligation to obey it, is a blessing and a privilege…Peter claims that to require circumcision and legal observance from Gentile converts would be to lay upon their necks a yoke…to demand of them something that Jews themselves could neither endure nor achieve. …This does not agree with the attitude to the yoke of Torah quoted above [from Rabbinic literature]–it was a privilege and joy…If Peter really felt like this about the Law–that it was an intolerable burden–why did not he and his fellow Jewish Christians themselves give it up? …Peter claimed that he had never touched unclean food (with the probability that one who was scrupulous in this respect would not be negligent in others).” pg. 718 A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles by C.K. Barrett 
So what is the yoke? Paul explains this in Galatians 5:1,4. He defines “yoke” as trying to justify oneself by works of the law. 
Commencing countdown to comment deletion…5….4….3…..


  1. I'm not sure if Derek will approve my comment so I thought I'd also post it here. For the record.
    I wrote this comment on Derek's site- I have to break it up - your site will not allow more than 4,096 characters...
    Part 1:

    You really should know something about a person and know what they have taught before you characterize them. It is true that your blog post is a critique of just one of his articles. However, you really should hold back a bit before you come to such sweeping conclusions.

    I will just start with one of your points. I could continue to others if you and your readers would benefit.

    Point #1
    It may be that Hegg rejects the scholarship of the findings of the “New Perspective on Paul.” E.P. Sanders and others have identified the problematic Jewish idea which Paul combatted in his letters as covenantal nomism.”

    From The Letter Writer, by Tim Hegg, 2002 published by FFOZ. Pages 79-81.

    “Perhaps one of the most significant works to reinvestigate Paul in light of the search for 1st Century Judaisms is Paul and Palestinian Judaism by E. P. Sanders. This monumental work, shows conclusively that the traditional view of 1st Century Judaism (particularly Pharisaic Judaism) cannot be sustained by an appeal to the primary sources. While the vast majority of Christian scholars and commentators accepted the view that 1st Century Judaism believed in a works-based salvation, Sanders shows that such a view rests upon a misreading of Paul through the bias of a supposed “works-righteousness” Judaism of the 1st Century. According to Sanders, when one reads the Rabbis themselves, one comes to the conclusion that salvation is not gained through doing good works but that it is a gift of God based upon the covenant He made with Israel. He labels this view “covenantal nomism,” which he defines as:
    “…the view that one’s place in God’s plan is established on the basis of the covenant and that the covenant requires as the proper response of man his obedience to its commandments, while providing means of atonement for transgression…. Obedience maintains one’s position in the covenant, but it does not earn God’s grace as such…. Righteousness in Judaism is a term which implies the maintenance of the status among the group of the elect.”
    To put it simply, “getting in” to God’s family is not a matter of one’s deeds, but a matter of being a member of the covenant which God graciously gave: “All Israel have a place in the world-to-come.” On the other hand, “staying in” is accomplished by keeping the commandments as the condition of the covenant and availing oneself of the means of atonement (sacrificial system) when failing to keep the commandments. To put it in modern Christian terms, “salvation” is assured to all covenant members, while “eternal life” requires living in a manner consistent with the covenant requirements. From this perspective one can easily see why a non-Israelite had only one option to obtain a place in the world-to-come—become a covenant member. This was accomplished, according to the Rabbis, through the ceremony of the proselyte, for which the “short-hand label” was “circumcision.”
    But how does this square with the Paul we read in the Apostolic Scriptures? Does it not appear that Paul presumes a Judaism that teaches salvation by works? Consider the following:
    For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the Law. Romans 3:28
    What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at the law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. . . . For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. Romans 9:30-10:3

  2. Part #2
    How can we read these verses and not come to the conclusion that Paul represents the Judaism of his day as teaching a “works-salvation?”
    Here is Sander’s answer: Paul does, in fact, present an “essentially different type of religiousness from any found in Palestinian Jewish literature,” but the difference is not in the realm of grace versus works. Paul never accuses Judaism of teaching “salvation by works,” (i.e., that one “gets in” by keeping the Torah). When he characterizes the Judaism of his day as missing the mark, using the phrase “righteousness by works,” he refers to the belief that one has a righteous status based upon his being part of the Jewish nation, a status recognized and maintained through Torah-obedience. For Sanders, where Paul made his radical break from the Judaism of his day was in his use of the word “righteous/righteousness.”

    I think Tim has read and understands Sanders…maybe even more than you.

    With more to say…

  3. Shalom Gary,

    Excellent. I just e-mailed Tim asking him if he saw Derek's post. Please continue....

  4. Thanks for the post Gary. I read Leman's argument and I don't see anything new, seems exactly what he has argued in the past. Also his argument over not understanding covenantal nomism is just a strawman... and his claims concerning Tim Hegg, simply looking at what you quoted shows, Leman does not have his facts straight.

  5. Another post I posted on Derek's site: Just in case he doesn't approve it.

    Your Problem #2: Hegg doesn’t seem to understand what role traditions played in Judaism then or now. He seems to imagine that “the rabbis” dictated a Talmud of rules to Jews in the time of Paul, Barnabas, Peter, and James which were above and beyond the Torah. He seems to picture the Judaism of the Talmud as if it existed in the time of Acts 15. And he pictures the apostles as being a “back-to-written-Torah” movement.

    From Tim’s article: What Version of the Mishnah did Paul Read? That can be found at his website.

    “Since the oral Torah was not written and published until the Talmudic era or even later, it is wrong to presume that there was a “universally accepted” oral Torah in the time of Yeshua. It is likewise presumptuous to think that the traditions of the elders were widely studied and practiced by the diverse sects of Judaism in the 1st Century. Such a monolithic approach to the oral Torah is anachronistic, reading the later rabbinic literature (the written form of the oral Torah) back into the 1st Century. The argument that “Yeshua obeyed the oral Torah” or that Rabbinic Judaism of our day was the Judaism which Yeshua practiced is therefore a non sequitur.”

    Now, that doesn’t address all of your point against Tim Hegg… but at least it lets your readers hear Tim in his own words.

    To the claim that “Hegg doesn’t seem to understand what role traditions played in Judaism then or now” you might want to look up the definition of libel and repent accordingly (or at least give very detailed proof to his “ignorance” on the subject).


  6. One last comment... then time to get some rest...
    I wrote this also on Derek's site:
    One last comment… Not really expecting you to approve them but here goes….
    You say:
    “…should be a wake up call for thoughtful people…” [so people who do not agree with you are sleeping and not thoughtful]

    “If one of the most studious and theologically astute proponents of One Law” [sounds like mockery of Mr Hegg to me…]

    “the absurdity of Hegg’s conclusion…” [you know him so well from reading one article? Or did you even read the article?]

    “historical sleight-of-hand and anachronistic readings are required to sustain a theology…”[didn’t you say somewhere else…. “But sometimes it is obvious that a pre-determined conclusion is the entire basis of an interpretation.” Kinda how I feel when I read you with no proof given to your statements… only your conclusions.]

    “asserts certain beliefs in his article and forces them to fit…”[see above]

    You say, “Michael, there is no animus in my critique of Tim Hegg’s article.”
    Really? You would ascribe all your above caricatures to the moving of the Holy Spirit of God in your life? What do you mean by “no animus?”

    With more to say,

  7. Ok - I can't sleep. I will reverse the order this time... I will post this comment here first. If Derek approves my other post I will also post this to his site.
    This is to address Derek's claim that Tim doesn't understand anything about "traditions." Tim has recently taken one of his courses and made it into a book for that is available on Amazon.
    If you are ok with me posting a link... You can find it here:

    I will post in the next comment part of the introduction to that work:

  8. “The name of this course is “Introduction to Torah Living.” Previously I have taught this course under the title “Introduction to Messianic Judaism.” Why the change? I have come to realize that “Judaism” is not the right term for what I’m teaching here. Rather, as more and more of God’s people return to an appreciation for the Land, the People, and the Scriptures of Israel, there is a genuine desire to live life according to God’s standards and guidelines. Or to put it simply, to live according to God’s Torah. But this does not mean becoming “Jewish.” Such a life style will obviously “look” Jewish, because in fact only the Jewish people have maintained Torah living throughout the millennia. And, when non-Jews who have come to faith in Yeshua and have therefore joined themselves to Israel (Isaiah 56:3; Ephesians 2:11ff, etc.), desire to live according to God’s holy Torah, they do many of the things that have characterized Jews. For all practical purposes they appear to be living out the tenets of Judaism.

    But there is a subtle danger in this. There is the natural tendency to believe that since the Jews have been doing something for millennia it must be right. Don’t misunderstand me—I love the traditions of my people, and the many cultural aspects which have been the gift of my forefathers passed on throughout our generations. But my greatest concern is to communicate the truth that the Torah is for everyone, not just for Jewish people. What is more, not all of the traditions of Judaism are good for Torah communities made of Yeshua’s disciples. We need to make a distinction between traditions of men and God’s absolute truths. Men’s words ought never to be given equal status with God’s words. In fact, it is when we begin to give the words of men equal status with those of God that we fall into grave danger of setting aside God’s words. This is because man’s traditions can appeal to our pride rather than draw us humbly to the worship of God. This is not to say that traditions are not often very inspiring and wholesome. But when they are, they usually reiterate or in some way amplify what God has already said. So the Bible is our guide. Another thing: the Torah is not Jewish. Once again, I do not in any way seek to demean the fact that the Torah has been the precious possession of the Jewish people since God gave it to us on Mt. Sinai. What I mean is that one does not need to be a Jew to fully appreciate and live out the Torah. In fact, it is clearly God’s plan that all of the nations espouse the Torah as God’s way of life, and in doing this God does not expect them, nor does He want them, to become Jews.”

  9. I really appreciate Tim Hegg's writings, I think he is right on. I will have to pick up a copy of that book.

  10. I'm just glad that my blog has become the outlet for people who have something important to say that Derek Leman will most likely delete. We accept all comments here! : )

  11. I just checked Derek's blog today and saw that he deleted my comment: SUCCESS! : )

  12. Derek has approved all my comments so far. Nice.
    Here is my latest comment:
    "I am puzzled over something you wrote Derek and wonder if you could clarify.

    It seems that the recent debates about B.E., One Law, Two-House, ect… seem to generate all kinds of heat and tension.

    Why do you think that is?

    Isn’t Jewish identity more an issue of home life and not where one worships?

    “Messianic congregations make it easier to identify with Jewish culture, there is no doubt about that. Jewish believers worshiping in non-Jewish congregations will have to work all the harder to maintain Jewish identity. But the real issue is not where you worship…Keep in mind that Jewish identity is primarily a matter of the home, not the congregation.” (Derek Leman, Walking with Yeshua: Beginning Steps for New Believers. Messianic Jewish Publishers (2000)."

  13. I posted this, but he never publishes anything I write, I wonder why? :P

    Reading your understanding of Acts 15, you said: “The apostles most certainly concluded that many Torah commands are not required for Gentiles.”, have you stopped attending your congregation to uphold your own theology, since you are a gentile and not a Jew? It would be interesting to see if you agree with what you actually write.

  14. Well - Derek has said he welcomes honest discussion. Great!

    Here is my latest comment:
    Seeing that the focus on this blog post is a critique of Tim Hegg (I know you say it is on his article but that isn’t how your post comes across). I thought your readers might benefit from seeing how Tim might approach the study of the verses from Matthew 23:1-4. For those who do not know much about TorahResource.com – Tim has been teaching through the book of Matthew for a few years now (you can find more information about that on his website).

    I have included a link to the pages from his commentary on these verses (if that is allowed). My goal here is to allow your readers to read Tim for themselves and let his words (not someone opinions of his words) be the focus of any criticism that one would want to offer. Tim too welcomes honest discussions. Those who know him, know him to be a “poor but honest man” (see Proverbial Wisdom & Common Sense, Derek Leman, 1999, p 143).



  15. Yet another:
    One other thing – I think Tim’s commentary on these verse will give you a much clearer understanding of what he thinks about “yoke” – you said “The belief that the traditions of Judaism are the “unbearable yoke” to which Peter referred is anachronism.” I don’t think Tim in the article ever said “traditions of Judaism” those are your words – not his. Also I think what you think he means by that and what he thinks might be different.

    Is your confusion caused by what Tim wrote or by your own opinions of him and your chosen definitions? You decide.


  16. hmmm.... maybe I spoke to soon. Either I did something wrong or Derek chose to not post the comment with the link to Tim's commentary on Matt. I'm also glad you have this blog so that "missing parts" of the discussion can be captured if censored.

  17. Ok - it seems I may have stepped over a "Derek Line" my appeals must have been too personal in the comment he decided to not post or maybe he thought I was being self serving or doing "shameless plugs" for Tim....

  18. Update:
    Derek sent me a personal email. Letting me know that he didn't post it because it had a link to Tim's article. He won't allow links to Tim's articles on his blog.

    1. So much for honest discussion. How can one be honest, when one cannot even be themselves, consider how many fake Jews there are in what is called "Messianic Judaism", honesty is not a priority.

  19. My latest comment:
    “…Meanwhile you still dodge…”

    What you call dodging I call, “Hey! Give me a break it is going to take me some time to read through things Tim has written and give you his position (also known as research and giving support).”

    Although it may be hard to answer in the “snippets” that you will allow me to post….

  20. Here is the quote that Gary referenced from Derek's book...

    Taken from :Proverbial Wisdom & Common Sense, Derek Leman. Pages 143-145
    “Honesty and Justice Better than Wealth

    Better to be poor and live one's life uprightly than engage in crooked speech, for such a one is a fool.

    Food obtained by fraud may taste good, but later the mouth is full of gravel.

    A fortune gained by a lying tongue is vapor dispersed (by) seekers of death.

    Better to be poor and live an honest life than be crooked in one's ways, though rich.
    (Mishlei 19:1; 20:17; 21:6; 28:6)

    "Honesty is such a lonely word," croons Billy Joel, a popular musician. That certainly seems true. Diogenes the Cynic, a traveling philosopher from ancient Greece, reportedly traveled about his land at night with his lamp lit. When asked what he was looking for, he replied, "An honest man."
    Here in these verses, Solomon nails the root cause of dishonesty: the desire for selfish gain. Most of us can point to a time, or many times, when we "distorted" the truth or participated in a lie for selfish reasons. When this happens, we reveal something of the blackness in our hearts. We reveal that we value our prosperity, security, or reputation more than we value righteousness.
    But Solomon gives us a picture here of the ideal case of honesty, the man who is honest but poor. This is better than using "crooked speech" to get ahead in life (see 19:1). Crooked speech (literally, the one who distorts his lips) can be a means of gain. Lying about expenses, deceiving competitors, denying charges of corruption, and misrepresenting a product all contribute to the wealth of some of the world's wealthy elite. Usually, the difference between one company's success and another's failure lies not in a major difference in quality or production, but in a small advantage. One company avoids a government regulation by means of deception, and this advantage places it ahead of competitors. Another company lies about the dangers of a product to avoid expensive redesigning. Though people may die or be harmed as a result, the shareholders often rejoice in the profits.
    The ideal case, however, is the poor but honest man. His company or trade never achieves wealth. But he is at peace with himself and happy to make a living. His way is better and the meager profits he gains don't keep him awake at night.
    Most of us are not cunning enough or daring enough to stake our fortunes on investments and lies. Thus, few of us will be directly in the position to choose between dishonesty with wealth and honesty with poverty. Therefore, these verses seem to apply to those few others. However, we ought to see at least two applications for ourselves, no matter who we are. First, do we know— if we were given the choice—that honesty, integrity, and righteousness would matter more to us than wealth, acclaim, or security? Second, in the lesser things—not issues of wealth versus poverty— do we practice integrity?
    (to be continued)

  21. Am I honest in paying my taxes? Do I report expenses hon¬estly to my employer? Does my spouse know how we spend money when he/she is not around? Am I honest with my creditors?
    "Food obtained by fraud may taste good, but later the mouth is full of gravel," says Solomon in Mishlei (Proverbs) 20:17. Money saved on tax returns seems good until we are called in for an audit. We appreciate the money we wrongfully exact in expenses until the employer begins looking closely at our reports. Then we start to sweat and feel nauseous. How appropriately Solomon describes the feeling of being caught in dishonesty! Our mouths seem full of gravel. We can hardly swallow. The fear of being caught paralyzes us. If only we could go back and be honest, we think. That little extra money, or whatever kind of gain our lie purchased for us; doesn't seem so important now.
    What a blessing honesty is, though. When the auditors come, we are at peace. At night we sleep well, not fearing consequences of dishonesty. The blessings that we find in life, even though we might be poor, we can fully enjoy, for they truly belong to us. What do we value more: righteousness or profit? That question says a lot about who we really are.

    Today I will…
    Repent of any dishonesty I participate in and commit to integrity as a way of life.”

  22. My latest comment:
    "Meanwhile you still dodge the fact that you have not addressed my historical arguments. Nor can you claim I missed the main point of Mr. Hegg’s article."

    Still working on reading various things from Tim. I even asked him a few questions today to help clarify. Not stalling just wanted to know what I'm talking about before I try to represent Tim's position.

    I am having a hard time figuring out your "main point" that you think you got from Tim's article. Other then he is one law and you aren't - a point which has been argued on your blog and others before - with about the same success as President Obama saying he would get congress to work together.

    So, I will continue to study.

    I think one main difference between your approach (the blog way) and Tim's approach is that of support and presentation of ideas. If you were to attempt to read your blog at SBL for example, your style of writing would not be accepted. Do you disagree? You present idea's but don't present primary sources (or any sources really).

    Just my two cents - you can take them or leave them...
    With more to say,

  23. After thinking about some of the comments here and on Derek's blog I was thinking he needs to make one change to his "About" statement. See my suggested changes in all CAPS.

    "About Derek Leman
    An author of nine books(MANY OF WHICH HE DOESN'T AGREE WITH ANYMORE), Derek is the Rabbi at Tikvat David Messianic Synagogue. He and his wife Linda have a large family of eight children. Education: M.T.S in Hebrew Bible, Emory University. Rabbinic Studies, Messianic Jewish Theological Institute"

  24. And on it goes...
    I commented:
    "Forgive my bluntness, Gary, but format is not the issue. I presented enough evidence and pointed to a vast field of research about Second Temple Judaism."

    Evidence? I only see your opinion. Telling other people to read material is not presenting evidence.

    I could say "If you want proof Tim is not what Derek says, go read Tim's material." But then I would just be stating my opinions and not offering evidence/support. So instead I’m trying to read Tim and quote him – that way I can support my opinions by what Tim has actually written.

    Or, I could say, "For people who want to learn about one law - read the Bible."

    I would not be supporting a position just in saying that either. I really hope you see what I'm saying here - if not this is truly pointless.

    Your second comment was well put. It warrants further discussion.

    I am becoming more convinced of one thing. It seems the real rub for you is - he is one Torah. I don't think you can get beyond that and therefore all the rest of what you are doing here is playing staging games… Changing the background and putting on a new play... hoping your readers will finally be convinced that One Law is "a fools way".... Am I off-base? You and your readers will have to decide.

    "For those who would like a thorough and wise theology of these matters, I highly recommend N.T. Wright’s, Justification."
    You write this way to what...suggest others are not "thorough and wise?"
    What part of N.T. Wright should I read? The whole book? I have read most of it...
    I guess I will continue to study.

    With more to say,

  25. and not I'm talking with Gene...
    "Being One Law is indeed a problem when reading Tim Hegg’s materials. It colors just about everything he writes. So, yeah, it’s important."

    I always thought that was what you tried to do when you studied. Remove "goggles" not make sure they are firmly in place... Have you ever tried reading Tim without your "he is one law goggles" on?

    He is not the demon that others suggest him to be. (of course that is just stating my opinion - that is so easy to do...if I am going to prove it... that is going to take a whole lot longer).

    I admit I have the same problem reading your comments Gene.

    While I have just entered the "world of comments" I have been a long time reader of this and other blogs relating to these matters....

    With more to say,

  26. A comment I made on Derek's (maybe I should call him Dreck...)which will of course be deleted...


    Being a fake Jew like Derek and Boaz is indeed a problem of reading their materials. It colors just about everything they write. So, yeah, it’s important.

    What are they trying to do, teach the father how to make children?

    I know Derek will delete this but at least he will read it….."

  27. If this keeps up I'm not going to get anything done today...
    “I put out a ton of written material (free).”
    Other than your blogs…where is this to be found.
    I honestly would like to read something other than your blogs. As I stated earlier, I have read a few of your older books (I bought them used). But you don’t believe those things anymore…so you say.
    Point me to the tons of written material that are free. I will read what you write also.
    You may remember that I did state in an earlier comment that I don’t know you.
    With more to say,

  28. more..
    “the crux of my argument in refuting Mr. Hegg’s article is a historical point. ”

    So you honestly state that this is the “crux” of you disagreement with this article?
    If so, that is a point I think Tim might be the best person to answer.
    I’ll ask him if he has the time the next time I talk to him.

    You see, part of my goal here is to remove all the layers and get to the core. Otherwise we will all be wasting our time. If the core was “One Law” that would be another story. One I wouldn’t be commenting on… seen how willing people are to “listen” in the past.
    That is why I mentioned President Obama and congress earlier….

  29. “Hegg operates in terms of Calvinist theology.”
    … thought I might also alert your readers to look up ad hominem while they had their logic books open
    ...9AM my time... time for me to work and not blog comment...

  30. Another comment of mine:

    "“Hegg operates in terms of Calvinist theology.”"

    Derek operates in terms of DRECK theology....

    How do you like my play on words?

    So far, this and the other comment were not deleted.

  31. My last three comments:
    The Fallacy of Equivocation
    I was reading this morning (brushing up on my logic skills) and came across another “language trick” often used in debate.

    In “Don’t You Believe It!”, by A.J. Hoover, Moody Press, 1982, p 111-112. Hoover has this to say:

    “We make this error when we use a key word in an argument in two different senses…
    as long as the equivocal shift in meaning goes undetected, the arguments appears valid.”

    Anyone spot this fallacy anywhere in this discussion?

    With more to say,

    “Well, Gary, then you shouldn’t judge me or others if we approach Hegg’s materials with a certain cautious expectation (knowing his slant and bias).”

    hmmm…. I shouldn’t? Really? I’m not asking you to play by a rule I am not willing to admit I also have to play by.

    Or Gene – would you rather I just not comment anymore?

    #3 Speaking of Calvin…..
    ” The Unofficial Official Rules of Calvinball
    Permanent Rule: You may not play the Calvinball the same way twice.
    Primary Rule: The following rules are subject to be changed, amended, or deleted by any player(s) involved. These rules are not required, nor necessary to play Calvinball.”

    Don’t you just love Calvin and Hobbes!

    [I found this on the web – don’t want to post the link – in fear this might not get posted.]

    Let's see if anyone points out my "Fallacy of Equivocation" in my comment #3...

    Shabbat Shalom all!!

  32. My latest comment on Derek's blog"


    “There is much that is wrong with this syllogism. Hegg operates in terms of Calvinist theology. Words like “justification” and “sanctification” take on technical theological meanings. In reality they are broad words for “being declared innocent” and “adhering to the ways of divine holiness.””

    Hegg supports his assertion with Scriptures, explaining what justification and sanctification are, whereas, you, just give your biased opinion…Try again, refute him from Scriptures….

    “That is an idea that does not compel me at all. In fact, it should already be seen to be false from the differing standards in Torah for different groups of people. It can also be seen in Yeshua’s demand that the rich ruler give away all his wealth “in order to be saved.””

    A highly uneducated remark….The rich man was JEWISH…Hello……

    so far he does not delete my comments, I guess I shamed him....

  33. My comment today:
    Ok, Tim said he doesn’t have the time right now to engage in this discussion.

    Derek wrote, “ON PRE-DETERMINED CONCLUSIONS…Tim Hegg asserts certain beliefs in his article and forces them to fit into Acts 15:That the traditions of Judaism (the rabbis, the sages) are bad, opposed to Yeshua’s teaching, and are the unbearable yoke to which Peter refers. “

    I will state my opinion and then support it with something Tim has written.

    Derek is wrong to say that Tim believes that “tradition of Judaism” are bad and therefore, wrong to assume that this is part of the problem with Tim’s article and something Tim is forcing into what he is writing as a “pre-determined conclusion”.

    Tim wrote elsewhere, “Yet through the layering of tradition ,(348) this Gospel, Paul’s Gospel,(349) was in danger of being eclipsed. Ritual had taken such a primary place in the life of Israel that for many, the faith that the ritual was to enhance and uphold had been all but neglected….”Footnotes on that page “(348) I use the word “tradition” here in the sense in which it is found in Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:3,6; Mark 7:8,9,13 that is, the teaching of men which effectively set aside the truth of God. Those traditions which encourage and promote true faithfulness to God should not be despised but utilized according to one’s freedom in Messiah. (349) Romans 2:16; 16:25; 2Timothy 2:8.”
    (Hegg, Tim. “The Letter Writer.” Littleton: First Fruits of Zion, 2002, p186.)

    So if I read Tim’s own words I get a pretty good idea of what problems he has with “traditions” and at the same time I understand that he doesn’t think all traditions (even “traditions of Judaism”) are bad. Also, one should not read Tim when he says “Ritual had taken such a primary place in the life of Israel that for many” and think “See this guy is a dummy – he thinks everyone had a copy of Shulchan Aruch on their bookcase.” Of course, no one here would read Tim that way? Or would they? Sometimes Tim clearly defines what he means by tradition – “in the sense in which it is found in Isaiah 29:13.”

    Further he says, “Those traditions which encourage and promote true faithfulness to God should not be despised but utilized according to one’s freedom in Messiah.”

    “Tim Hegg asserts certain beliefs..” I say again – I think you are the one forcing certain beliefs into Tim and not Tim forcing certain beliefs (of course ones you believe are wrong) into Acts 15. You and your readers will have to decide.

    I do not think you will ever “vote for Tim for president” if you will allow this comparison. If you like President Obama, you will probably think this Romney guy is whatever President Obama says he is… and you will not ever let some Romney supporter convince you differently. Of course, the election is over, President Obama won – who is thinking about Romney now? Also, this is not about electing anyone president. Unless Derek is thinking about running?


  34. Ok - this one will be an exclusive to your blog:

    Derek wrote: “Hegg operates in terms of Calvinist theology.”and “For those who would like a thorough and wise theology of these matters, I highly recommend N.T. Wright’s, Justification.”

    I’m not sure but I think Derek will possibly want not to keep Wright on his somewhat approved reading list.

    I just read some of what Wright wrote. I may be reading this wrong but we might need to let people know that Wright could be dangerously close to slightly leading people astray. Wright may wrongly think Calvinism has a few things right. It may have even been something he forced into the otherwise “thorough and wise theology” he wrote.

    According to Wright when one reads Calvin it is hard not to think they are reading Sanders. How are we going to right this possibly slightly grave wrong in Wright? Maybe a new blog post?

    “Actually, in writing those sentences I find it hard to tell whether I am summarizing Calvin or Sanders. In Calvin and his followers— think of Karl Barth, think of Charles Cranfield—the great emphasis is on the single plan of God, the fact that God has not changed his mind. There are plenty of theologians who have suggested that God initially gave people a law to see if they could save themselves that way, and then, finding that they could not, decided on a Plan B, namely incarnation and crucifixion and "justification by faith." But that is what Calvinism has always rejected, partly because it is a pretty hopeless view of God and partly because it makes little or no sense exegetically. And, within this kind of Calvinism, the point of the law–think of the endless debates over the meaning of telos in Romans 10:4–is not that God has brought it to an end, has put a stop to all that nonsense, but that he has brought it to its glad and proper goal.”

    N.T. Wright, Justification God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision, pg 73.

    Wright suggested in this same section of the book that if people had listened to the reformers (I assume Calvin and his like) the new perspective would not have been necessary. Could Wright be right? How might people be slightly lead astray if they listen to Wright? Even worse, what would happen if people listened to Hegg? Shudder the thought!


  35. דן, בכל קשור למשחק שלך במילים עם שמו של דרק.
    לפעמים יש צורך בתיק גדול של דשן לפני צמחים יכולים לגדול.

  36. Here is another exclusive:

    This just in: Facebook "Election Results"
    As of the writing of this report, Derek has won 136 facebook likes so far for his critique of Tim's Acts 15 article.

    On the non-approved-by-Tim-site that posted his article - Tim only has 65 likes.

    Not bad for someone not even on the ballot. Tim has gotten half the "write in votes" that Derek has received as someone "on the ballot."

    Even so, I think this "race" will go to Derek and I am ready to declare him winner and first ever - "Messianic Jewish Facebook President."


    1. It looks like Derek's "election campaign" may be in trouble...a change in the blog site appears to have removed all the facebook likes...

  37. More conclusive evidence to support Derek as MJFP - he has 950 facebook friends and 271 subscribers...

    He used to have 1167 facebook friends but some hacker took all his friends away.

    Tim Hegg does not have a single facebook friend or subscriber. Do we need anymore evidence that he is bad?

    The spirit of our times can not be denied - Derek Leman is the Quiz-ach-had-a-rack ~ with slight allusions to Dune (aka. first MJFP).

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8-eiBqri0U

    2. Possible Eytomology of the Title:

      Quiz - a form of game or mind sport in which the players (as individuals or in teams) attempt to answer questions correctly.

      Ach - from Hebrew meaning brother?

      Had-a-rack - is this some play on words that suggesting some sort of loss of manliness? Which of course would be a good thing if manliness was seen in terms of "flesh" in the context of Rom 8:6-8 - an insult if taken other ways.

      One can only wonder where such word play might lead.

      The picture from the video doesn't look anything like Derek. Maybe that is from his former life as a gentile.

  38. My latest comment - if anyone is even still reading this thread - please see the links after my comment to Derek - it is my proof of the material freely available from Tim at TorahResource.com. I wouldn't ever want to be accused of posting things without support.

    Just so this doesn’t get lost in the the noise of this discussion…

    “I put out a ton of written material (free).” Still waiting for you to point me to where all this free material can be found that you write. Or do I have to pay shipping and handling or be part of “your inner circle?” Is there fine print somewhere I missed?
    I know where to find “tons of material” that Tim has written – free. Of course I won’t dare post links to that material on your site. ;-)


    Ok for those who don't already know...

    TorahResource has Tim's entire notes on the 3 Year Cycle available for free at http://www.torahresource.com/Parashot.html
    If you click on the number next to the weekly reading it will download a PDF of Tim's teaching notes for that week. He has even been converting them to EPUB and Kindle formats - all freely available on his site.

    This amounts to hundreds of pages of practical commentary. Did I mention he doesn't charge for these notes. Of course if you want them in book form he has some available that he has combined that you can buy and put on your shelf.

    TorahResource has been posting weekly audio for free also for over six month now.

    They include a full year's study on Galatians(still in progress- an edited version of Tim's previous teaching through Galatians), the audio from Tim's Romans teaching, and other topics.

    All these are available for free at:

    The archive of previous postings can be found here:

    The content on this site is updated weekly as with audio resources.

    Again, did I mention these are all free?
    Thanks for being a place that I can post links to this kind of material.

  39. Gary, thank you for posting the links. Some of us can not afford to buy, but enjoy the blessing of "gleaning" where it is offered.

    I hope you guys that take the time to share and post and teach will know that you are greatly appreciated. I have learned a great deal just watching the discussions, getting the material I can, looking into it as best I can, praying and thinking about what is offered.

  40. Put two comments on Derek's blog. Hope they will not get deleted....

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